TO C. B. T.
by: Bernard Barton (1784-1849)
- igh hopes, and noble thoughts, are thine;
- These Fortune could not take,
- Nor would her gifts adorn the shrine
- That such will not forsake.
- Defying Fate's and Fortune's will;
- What first was fair, is glorious still.
- But what is Fortune? what is Fate?
- The Christian knows them not:
- He knows a Being, good as great,
- Controls his earthly lot:
- No fabled phantom's vain caprice
- Assails his joy, or mars his peace.
- What though, dear Charles! thy morn so bright,
- Ere noon be somewhat shaded:
- Its tenderest bloom, its truest light,
- Remain undimm'd, unfaded:
- These brightly shine, and sweetly glow,
- And, keeping them, how rich art thou!
- Before I met thee, what I heard
- Had waken'd vain regret,
- And sympathy within was stirr'd
- For thee; but, when we met,
- I should have blush'd to own that I
- Had ever thought of sympathy.
- I could have look'd at thee, my friend!
- With envy, and with pride,
- But names so odious ill may blend
- With feelings gratified:
- And mine were such, for I was taught
- To bless thee, in my inmost thought.
- Whom the Lord loveth, in his love
- He chasteneth. Every son
- Adopted by our Sire above,
- That sonship thus hath won:
- Nor was the chastisement severe
- Which left thee much most truly dear.
- Am I too serious? surely not:
- If so, what may we trust?
- Hast thou not chosen as thy lot
- An office most august?
- And enter'd on its functions, now,
- Where much should sanctify each vow?
- The altar where thou minist'rest,
- The walls that echo round
- Each syllable by thee express'd,
- Stand they on holy ground?
- It is regarded so by thee,
- In one sense it is such to me.
- Forgive me if I honour not,
- As thou may'st, outward things;
- Or if, while standing on such spot,
- My recollection clings
- To one, whose memory, in my sight,
- Eclipses the most splendid rite.
- No consecrating ritual's art,
- No anthem's echoing peal,
- Could, to the feelings of my heart,
- That hidden spell reveal,
- Which, though thy creed is not my own,
- Here wakens thought's sublimest tone.
- Thy creed not mine! the thought recal;
- Its essence is the same;
- On truths most awful unto all,
- We differ but in name:
- And these enjoin us to revere
- A spot by martyr'd worth made dear.
- Not to revere, as may have been
- The case in days gone by,
- With superstition's darken'd mien;
- But with a heavenward eye
- To him, the Giver of all good,
- For whom that martyr nobly stood.
- Thou bear'st his NAME; thou standest where
- He stood;--his words recal;
- May'st thou his deep devotion share,
- On thee his mantle fall;
- For unto it more virtue clings
- Than to the ermin'd robes of kings!
POEMS BY BERNARD BARTON
|"To C. B. T." is reprinted from Napoleon and Other Poems. Bernard Barton. London: Thomas Boys, 1822.